3. Stories will Find You Where You Least Expect Them:
It’s strange, isn’t it? People like me go all over the world wanting to bump into interesting people, make elaborate plans and crave for interesting tales & experiences to share. Very often though, the most touching stories will come to you when you least expect it.
One of the stories that moved me the most, came on the very last night of my adventure. I was spending the night at a beat-down, shady looking hostel at Northfields, because it was the cheapest & closest thing available to Heathrow Airport, from whence I had my homeward flight the next day. This is where I met my room-mate – 21 year old Harry Johnston (name changed). After all the exuberant Irish welcomes, I was a little knocked off balance when Harry barely acknowledged my jovial “hello” when he walked in. Significant prodding and a couple of drinks later, I found out Harry was a single child, who’d recently lost both his parents – one died in a car crash and the other walked out. With nobody to pay the mortgage, design student Harry had to give up his house and take up a job at a massive apparel chain – the one we all use toiletries from. When I first saw Harry, he had just returned from a 12 hour shift that began at 5.46 am on a Sunday. He had been staying at this beaten down place for several weeks now, barely making from rent-day to rent-day. He’d already dropped out of college and was truly clueless about how to get his life back on track. He’d wanted to be a fashion designer, and though it definitely isn’t my area of expertise, some of his work that I was able to see in pictures he shared, promised a lot. Sounds like a plot right out of a Bollywood movie doesn’t it? Well it isn’t, because there’s no happy ending to Harry’s story (yet), but I hope there will be. There are countless such obscure faces in and around Central London – people who’s lives have turned upside down in a moment, stories that don’t deserve pity, but deserve to be told and heard.
Some of the most interesting people I met, some of the best conversations I had were in completely unexpected circumstances in some of the remotest places in Ireland – and I do hope to do a whole new post about some of those sometime soon.